22nd November 2021Category: General
Thursday 25th November 2021 is Carers Rights Day which aims to ensure carers know their rights, are aware of the support services available to them and to raise awareness of their needs.
Even at the best of times caring for someone can feel like a struggle. Trying to get the right support and information at the right time can be challenging, but in the midst of a pandemic and all the uncertainty that that brings it can be infuriating, demoralising and feel like an endless battle that you are fighting alone.
Knowing your rights as an unpaid carer can help you navigate your way through some of the processes and services you may encounter, and knowing where to go for support can help you feel there is someone on your side.
Here are just some of your rights as an unpaid carer:
All carers are entitled to a Carers Assessment from their local authority. In Allerdale and Copeland West Cumbria Carers carry out these assessments on behalf of Cumbria County Council.
The purpose of the assessment is to discuss the support YOU need to carry out your caring role. The assessment process will identify what help is available and a support plan will be put in place for the coming 12 months. The assessment is reviewed annually (sooner if your caring role changes) and the support adjusted as required.
As an unpaid carer you can ask your GP practice to identify you as a carer on your patient record. This means you can be called forward for flu jabs and other relevant public health campaigns. Some GP surgeries have a form on their website to help you register as a carer, if yours doesn’t Carers UK have created some letter and email templates that you can use.
If you receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick you are eligible for a free flu jab and should request one from your GP surgery or local pharmacist. You can find out more about the eligibility by visiting the NHS website.
If the person you care for is being discharged from hospital, the hospital must identify and consult with you, where possible.
Carers UK has useful information on the discharge procedure, discharge assessments and other important things to think about if the person you care for is in hospital.
Flexible working can include flexi-time, homeworking and job-sharing and can help you to juggle your work/care balance. You can read more about your rights at work on the Carers UK website.
If you look after an older or disabled person, the law - under the Equality Act 2010 - protects you against direct discrimination or harassment because of your caring responsibilities. This is because you are counted as being 'associated' with someone who is protected by the law. If you feel you have been treated unfairly because of your caring role Carers UK have information available which explains discrimination by association.
These are just some of your rights as a carer, knowing about them can empower you when facing some of the challenges you may encounter.
If you want to know more about Carers Rights you can access a wealth of information online, below are some useful links: